Parents' Guide to

Sniper: Ghost Shooter

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Explicit violence, language in gun-glorifying action flick.

Movie R 2016 99 minutes
Sniper: Ghost Shooter Poster Image

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The military is used as a moral shield to hide this action film's true motive: quenching bloodlust through big guns and bigger machismo. Sniper: Ghost Shooter feels very much like a video game, with long, gory battle sequences strung together through a simple storyline in which the young sergeant knows more than his commanding officers. It seems like a solid quarter of the film is seen through the sight lines of a rifle scope. And it's unabashedly derivative, from Sgt. Beckett's Top Gun-esque relationship with a civilian contractor/superior (Stephanie Vogt) to ripping off lines from better movies ("Yippee-ki-yay, motherf----r," "Say hello to my Russian friend!").

While the film's international locations are gorgeously shot, that beauty is marred by the blood spray and brain chunks that eventually cover the landscape. It's hard not to feel embarrassed for the talented actors who appear in it, including Dennis Haysbert and Billy Zane: This is, without a doubt, the kind of job actors take for the paycheck. And the takeaway is downright horrifying. The film's overall purpose seems to be to comfort soldiers by suggesting that, hey, sometimes we have to kill women and children. To project that message to wishful warriors who fantasize about racking up kills is revolting. But you know which element of the movie is most shocking? Despite the fact that it has nonstop action, a high body count, and intense blood splatter, the story is so rote and uninteresting that it may actually be sleep inducing.

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